Welcome the A Minor Musics radioprogram on The Lake Radio.
The program will take you on a tour through different sides of Iranian experimental electronic music. Mainly through music, but also with excerpts from interviews conducted with the artists.
Below you will not only find a track list, but an extensive guide through the songs featured, with info on the artist, the song, the release and what else might be relevant. If you want to check out the individual artists (I hope you will) you'll find links to either their website or their soundcloud at the end of each textblock. Additionally, if you should want to buy an album, a click on the ablum cover will take you to the relevant label/shop/itunes page.
To connect and follow updates on A Minor Music, find the facebook page here.
- Ata Ebtekar and Mazdak Khamda - Lonesome Clouds
- Tegh - They Were From Somewhere Cold
- Pouya Pour-Amin (Pannulus) - Slow Sound of Snow
- Alireza Mashayekhi - Development 2, Op.24
- Shaahin Saba (Dipole) - Reserve Balance
- Baaroot - Wheel (Siavash Amini remix)
- Ata Ebtekar - Silk Rider
- Umchunga - Should Have Been Done By Now
- Arash Akbari - Pale Blue
- Siavash Amini - The Wind
- Idlefon - Of Rust
Ata Ebtekar and Mazdak Khamda - Lonesome Clouds
We start out the program with Ata Ebtekar and Mazdak Khamdas track "Lonesome Clouds", the first song from the album Sonic Within. An album, which merges beautiful piano melodies with sweeping sonic soundscapes. It is a collaboration between Mazdak Khamda on piano and Ata Ebtekar, who can in many aspects be regarded as a pioneer in Iranian experimental electronic music. Both through his own works (released on major labels such as Warp and Sub Rosa), but also through his release of "Persian Electronic Music Yesterday and Today 1966-2006" which offered a revival to some of the first Iranian Electronic Compositions. More about this album later. Ata Ebtekar was born 1972 in Hamburg of Iranian parents. He spent his childhood in both Iran and Germany. Through his adulthood he lived in California, and first studied, then taught sound arts. In 2006, he moved to Tehran for several reasons, one of them, wanting to introduce experimental electronic music to a wider audience in Iran. website
Interview Excerpt - Ata Ebtekar (Sote)
Tegh - They Were From Somewhere Cold
Now we move over in the ambient side of the scene. The young Iranian ambient scene is quite extensive and time after time proves its worth by releasing beautiful, often slightly eerie and dark albums of amazing quality. Tegh's "Night Scenes" being a good example of this. Tegh is Shahin Entezami's solo project and the track "They were from somewhere cold" is from his debut album released in 2014 on the small Canadian based boutique label Inner Ocean Records. Shahin Etezami has also done many collaborative works worth checking out, for example, his most recent release with Kamyar Tavakoli and his live-project Temp-Illusion with Behrang Najafi. soundcloud
Interview Excerpt - Hesam Ohadi (Idlefon).
- You'll get to listen to his music as the last track in the program.
Pouya Pour-Amin - Slow Sound of Snow
This track was composed for a stage play called "Slow Sound of Snow". It was both composed and produced by Pouya Pour-Amin and features vocals by Omid Nemati. The track with Omid's chant and its many aggressive rhythms acted as a loud finale to the play where all conversation was conducted through whispering.
Pouya Pour-Amin has several different roles in the Iranian electronic scene. He composes, produces and plays. He composes ambient tracks using mainly field recordings. He records and produces music for several other musicians in Tehran, among other he has recorded the strings for Siavash Amini's album What Wind Whispered to the Trees, from which a track is featured later in this program. And last but not least he plays in the project Migrain. He also plays the double bass both in classical contexts, and with a jazz quartet. soundcloud
Alireza Mashayekhi - Development 2, Op.24
Now from the modern scene we move back in time to listen to one of the pioneers of modern music in Iran, Alirreza Mashayekhi. Mashayekhi was born in 1940 in Tehran and has composed electronic music since the 1960s. He has an immensely extensive academic background in music, having studied Persian music, composition and piano in Tehran and Vienna, and electronic and computer music in Utrecht. In Iran he is well known for his classical compositions while his electronic compositions remain unknown to the majority. This particular track is composed in 1970 and is dedicated to athematic development, and is taken from "Persian Electronic Music Yesterday and Today 1966-2006" a double album featuring Alireza Mashayekhi and Ata Ebtekar. It was released on Sub Rosa and is very recommendable, not only does it feature beautiful and important music, but it also contains a great booklet offering great in-depth information about the music, its creators and its context.
On top of the track, read aloud by Ata, are excerpts from an article which Ata Ebtekar has written about Alireza Mashayekhi and his music. website
Shaahin Saba Dipole - Reserve Balance
Reserve - Balance is a track from Shaahin Saba's album Dipole. A conceptual album forged on the confrontation between nature and technology. This can be heard in the music, which shows both organic and electronic qualities. It can also be seen in the titles, which all consist of two words pointing out duality and contrast. Both within the single tracks but also in the larger picture. Shaahin Saba is a Computer-Electronic Graduate himself. Over the track, you will hear an excerpt from an interview with Shaahin. Here he talks about inspirations. Furthermore it is worth noticing that Dipole is released on Hermes Records, an Iranian label normally focused on more classical/classical-Persian releases. Dipole on Hermes
Interview Excerpt - Siavash Amini
Baaroot - Wheel (Siavash Amini remix)
Now we are moving to a somewhat unique take on electronic music. Baaroot is a musical duo consisting of Javad Safari and Nooshin Abedi. They dub their music Neofolk, and it is a mix of traditional Persian musical instruments and vocals mixed with industrial and electronic music. This track is a remix done by Siavash Amini (we will listen to his music a couple of songs further in the mix). Baaroot has released two albums, their debut album, and a remix album featuring remixes from some of the best Iranian electronic musicians. As a band in Iran Baaroot faces a challenge few of the other electronic musicians face, getting a governmental permission for a female vocalist to perform live is next to impossible. website
Ata Ebtekar - Silk Rider
We started with a track from Ata Ebtekar, now we are back to his work. A different and more experimental side of his work. A short track from his album "Dear Iran, Miniature Engines Throb In Time For Your Beating Heart". To be honest it doesn't really do the album justice only playing a one minute track from it. However, it is important to present this experimental side of Ata Ebtekar's work, even though it is only a brief preview in this program. Experimedia writes about the album: "Time and again, Dear Iran communicates a narrative of displacement, of the disjunction of culture and the migrating of identity in twentieth-century Iran. His compositions are sonic tales synchronously decoding and regenerating customary pattern of thought in nature; aural designs of crisis and harmony where contempo aligns with folklore, orchestrating an artificial saga with a variety of illuminations and analyses. Precise in emotional tone, his narrative achieves cohesion by giving birth to machinic assemblages of synthesis." website
Interview Excerpt - Siavash Amini
AMBIENT DEEP DIVE
Umchunga - Should Have Been Done By Now
Umchunga is the musical project of Nima Pourkarimi, his debut album Should Have Been Done by Now will be released later this year on the English label Hibernate Records. In this program, we are proud to present the world premiere of the beautiful title track. Earlier Nima has been working in several constellations and collaborations - most noteworthy he is one of two vocalists in the electronic/post-rock band Photomat - not featured in this program, but really worth checking out! As Umchunga, Nima has uploaded electronic tracks on soundcloud during the last 5 years. There you can follow his path starting at more beat oriented IDM moving step by step into ambient. soundcloud
Arash Akbari - Pale Blue
Song two in the Ambient Deep Dive is Pale Blue by Arash Akbari. Arash Akbari has released several albums, two on a Spanish label (Oido) and his most recent album Cracked Echoes, from which Pale Blue is the last track, on the French label Soft Recordings. Apart from creating ambient music, Arash also does beautiful visual digital arts, often, generative art created with creative coding. Head over on his website to take a glimpse on some of his creations, both still images and films. The art that figures as thumbnail for the A Minor Music radioprogram is by Arash and is originally from one of his art series called Decomposition. Website
Siavash Amini - The Wind
Third stop in this last part of the program, The Wind, from Siavash Amini's album What Wind Whispered to the Trees. A thematic album hugely inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's writings, directly referencing actual characters in the song titles, and poetically distilling Dostoyevsky's themes and ambiences into musical form. Siavash Amini achieves this by using huge guitar drones to build vast and dark soundscapes in which you could easily be scared of losing yourself, but Nima Aghiani's violin lightly soars above guiding you through the dark landscapes onto an amazing musical journey.
Siavash Amini has by now solidly claimed his place in the ambient/drone scene through several releases both on labels inside of Iran and outside. Soundcloud
Idlefon - Of Rust
To end the program and the ambient deep dive is Idlefon's Of Rust. One might argue that it is not actually an ambient track. It has too many elements resembling IDM/glitch music, but at the core, it has a gentle ambient flow ebbing peacefully back and forth. With its beats and blips it slowly brings us back to the surface to soothing, yet haunting, voices calling out across and along with the flow. Idlefon is the moniker for Hesam Ohadi's solo music, and Of Rust is a track from his debut album "Intensive Collectivity Known As City" released on the Chicago based Tympanik Audio. An album that in itself manages to take you on a deep dive into the magical universe which the music strings together, but also meditatively into yourself. That is all for now. Soundcloud
Thank you for listening and reading along
Connect on facebook: A Minor Music
Artists featured in the program on facebok: Ata Ebtekar (Sote), Tegh, Pannulus, Alireza Mashayekhi, Shaahin Saba, Baaroot, Umchunga, Arash Akbari, Siavash Amini and Idlefon